BC Passes National Fiscal Responsibility Test
Bluefield College is among a select number of colleges and universities across the nation to pass a national test evaluating financial responsibility.

BC Passes National Fiscal Responsibility Test

By Chris Shoemaker | June 12, 2017 | RSS

Bluefield College is among a select number of colleges and universities across the nation to pass a national test evaluating financial responsibility.

The U.S. Department of Education evaluated 3,374 colleges who receive federal financial aid for students. The department considered institutional debt and assets, among other factors from the 2014-2015 fiscal year, in determining scores ranging from negative one to positive three. Scores lower than 1.5 are considered failing, and according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 177 private colleges that grant degrees failed the test.

Bluefield College, on the other hand, scored a 2.9 on the financial responsibility assessment. Only 951 of the more than 3,000 colleges analyzed, or about 28 percent, earned a score of 2.9 or higher. Bluefield College was fortunate enough to be among the select 28 percent.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, section 498(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 requires for-profit and non-profit institutions to annually submit audited financial statements to the government to demonstrate they are maintaining the standards of financial responsibility necessary to participate in Title IV programs. From those financial statements, the department determines and evaluates three primary ratios to gauge financial responsibility: a primary reserve ratio, an equity ratio, and a net income ratio. The composite of those ratios, ranging from negative 1.0 to positive 3.0, the department said, reflects the overall relative financial health of the institution.

A score greater than or equal to 1.5 indicates the institution is considered financially responsible. Schools with scores of less than 1.5 but greater than or equal to 1.0 are considered financially responsible, but require additional oversight. Schools with a failing score -- most of which are small and either private non-profit or for-profit schools, according to Inside Higher Education -- could lose access to federal financial aid.

And while the U.S. Department of Education’s scores gauge the status of an institution’s financial health and not its educational quality, Bluefield College is equally recognized in that area, as well. In fact, the college was just recently ranked among the Top Tier Colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report and among just 22 colleges in the nation with an “A” rated core curriculum. The college has also been ranked among the top 50 Christian colleges in America for graduating students with low debt and the 11th most beautiful Christian college campus in America by Christian Universities Online; among the Top Military Friendly Schools by Victory Media; one of the top colleges in Virginia by Virginia Living magazine; and among the nation’s best values by The Economist magazine.

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